Chinese TV remove Arsenal vs Man City from their schedule after Mesut Ozil’s comments

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Sunday's encounter between Arsenal and Manchester City has been removed from Chinese state TV by broadcaster CCTV after comments made by German midfielder Mesut Ozil. 

Ozil had previously posted on his own social media about the Chinese state's treatment of Uighur Muslims, labelling the group as 'warriors who resist persecution', whilst also criticising the silence of the Muslim community on the issue. 

After the post caused widespread controversy - with many fans criticising Ozil for his stance - Arsenal were forced to release an official club statement distancing themselves from the comments, and reaffirming that the club was 'apolitical as an organisation'.

The Chinese Football Association also released a statement on the post, claiming that Ozil had 'hurt the feelings' of Chinese fans with his 'unacceptable' comments.  

China's treatment of Uighur Muslims has attracted the attention of the world media, after several human rights organisations revealed that up to a million people had been detained in high-security state-ran camps.

The Chinese government has refuted these numbers, however, and has instead claimed that they are being educated in 'vocational training centres', established to stem violent religious extremism. 

Ozil's post is not the first time that the talented midfielder has courted controversy throughout his career. 

In 2018, Ozil, and fellow Turkish-born German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan posed alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in the lead up to a general election in the country. 

Following Germany's early-exit from the ensuing World Cup campaign later that year - and Ozil's perceived consistent under-performance - many German fans levelled the picture against the Arsenal midfielder, claiming a lack of loyalty to his country and his national side. 

Ozil responded at the time however by claiming he was merely showing support for the country of his family's origin, and claimed the media had used the photo to create a controversy out of nothing. 

Despite his fall-out with German fans in recent years, Ozil was one of Germany's stand-out performers in their victorious 2014 World Cup campaign. 

Korea Republic v Germany: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Indeed, so impressive were his performances for his national side, that he was actually named German National Team Player of the Year five times out of six between 2011 and 2016 - taking the award home every year barring 2014.

Having also played for Real Madrid, Schalke and Werder Bremen, the technical and tricky midfielder has also won a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey - both with Real Madrid - and three FA Cup titles with his current side Arsenal.

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